Happy National Mac and Cheese Day! This indulgent meal is one of our favorite comfort foods to make plant-based with the easy, delicious, and healthier-for-you swap of vegan cheese and butter, and we have the best recipe exclusively for you in honor of today's celebration.

The American classic dish made vegan is also one of Fantasia Taylor's favorite meals to enjoy since the American Idol alum went vegan over a year ago and continues to explore the lifestyle for health purposes. The star recently gave birth to her daughter Keziah on May 23rd and threw an all-vegan baby shower a week prior to the delivery, serving up soul food including her favorite mac and cheese dish made by Chef Joya, and we have the recipe.

Chef Joya calls herself the "Queen of Transitioning Meat Eaters," and has cooked for Taylor on special occasions, including Valentine's Day, and kindly shared five recipes she served at the baby shower, including this gooey vegan mac and cheese, served in a skillet.

To celebrate the national holiday, convince yourself, non-vegans, and your loved ones that ditching dairy can be as delicious as it is healthy, and add this recipe to your personal cookbook.

Jonathan Cooper

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Recipe Developer: Chef Joya, author of Cooking With Joya: It's Soul Mahmazing

Baked Mac & Cheez

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. elbow noodles
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup arrowroot flour
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 24 oz. unsweetened cashew milk
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 container vegan cream cheese
  • 4 cups vegan shredded cheese, your preferred brand
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar, raw
  • 2 dashes of hot sauce
  • 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Boil noodles, in vegetable stock, until al dente (follow directions on the package)
  3. Drain the pasta, and set it aside.
  4. Melt butter, in a saucepan, and add both flours. Whisk, until incorporated.
  5. Slowly pour in half of the milk, whisking constantly to prevent clumps.
  6. Mix in cream cheese and half of the vegan cheese.
  7. Stir in the remaining milk, and add nutritional yeast.
  8. Once the mixture is smooth and the cheese has melted, add in the remaining ingredients, except for the remaining cheese.
  9. Bring mixture to a boil, and remove from heat.
  10. Spray an 11” x 13” pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  11. Add pasta noodles to the pan (optional: season with salt and black pepper).
  12. Pour vegan cheez mixture onto the pasta. Stir until pasta is covered in sauce.
  13. Top the pasta with the remaining cheese, and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Place the covered pan, in the oven, for 20 minutes.
  14. Remove the aluminum foil, and cook for another 13 minutes.
  15. Allow the mac and cheez to sit, for 10 minutes, before serving.

Calories 540 | Total Fat 30.7g | Saturated Fat 14.1g | Cholesterol 31mg | Sodium 645mg | Total Carbohydrate 52.8g | Dietary Fiber 8.5g | Total Sugars 3.6g | Protein 14.5g | Vitamin D 8mcg | Calcium 250mg | Iron 5mg | Potassium 164mg |